Enabling data auditing in DataStax Enterprise 

Steps to enable data auditing in DataStax Enterprise.

The audit logger logs information only on nodes set up for logging. For example, node 0 has audit turned on, node 1 does not. This means issuing updates and other commands on node 1 does not affect the node 0 audit log. For maximum information from data auditing, turn on data auditing on every node.

Audit logs can be written to either file system log files or to a Cassandra table:
System log files Database tables
When you turn on audit logging, the default is to write to logback file system log files. Cassandra provides logging functionality using Simple Logging Facade for Java (SLF4J) with a logback backend. As audit logs increase in size, logging audit data to a Cassandra table is more useful.
File-based logs are stored per node and are secured with standard Linux file system permissions. Audit events stored in database tables can be secured like any other table using RBAC. For example, store database table-based logs in encrypted SSTables. Control access to the tables with object permissions.
The log files can be read from a terminal for troubleshooting queries or managing security. Larger clusters use Cassandra tables because logback audit logs become cumbersome. The data can be queried like any other table, making analysis easier and custom audit reports possible.

Audit logging of queries and prepared statements submitted to the DataStax drivers, which use the CQL binary protocol, is supported.

When using audit logging with Kerberos authentication, the login events take place on Kerberos and are not logged in DataStax Enterprise. Authentication history is available only on Kerberos. When DataStax Enterprise is unable to authenticate a client with Kerberos, a LOGIN_ERROR event is logged.

Procedure

  1. Open the dse.yaml file in a text editor.
    The location of the dse.yaml file depends on the type of installation:
    Installer-Services /etc/dse/dse.yaml
    Package installations /etc/dse/dse.yaml
    Installer-No Services install_location/resources/dse/conf/dse.yaml
    Tarball installations install_location/resources/dse/conf/dse.yaml
  2. In the audit_logging_options section, set enabled to true.
    # Audit logging options
    audit_logging_options:
        enabled: true
  3. Set the logger option to either:
    • CassandraAuditWriter

      Logs to a Cassandra table.

    • SLF4JAuditWriter

      Logs to the SLF4J logger.

  4. Optional: To include or exclude event categories from being logged, add the event types include_categories or exclude_categories and specify the categories in a comma separated list. You can set either event type, but not both.
    Setting Logging
    AUTH Logs login events.
    DML Logs insert, update, delete and other data manipulation language (DML) events.
    DDL Logs object and role create, alter, drop, and other data definition language (DDL) events.
    DCL Logs grant, revoke, create role, drop role, and list roles events.
    QUERY Logs all queries.
    The authenticator determines whether DataStax Enterprise audit logs include login events:
    • When using audit logging with DSE Unified Authenticator, the login events with Cassandra native protocol authentication are logged in DataStax Enterprise.
    • When using audit logging with Cassandra native protocol authentication (PasswordAuthenticator), the login events take place as part of connection negotiation and are not logged in DataStax Enterprise.
  5. Optional: To include or exclude Cassandra keyspaces from being logged, add a comma separated list of keyspaces to the included_keyspaces or excluded_keyspaces options. You can set either one, but not both.
  6. If you are logging to a Cassandra table, set the retention time for logged events by setting the retention_time option to the number of hours the events should be retained. The default value is 0, which retains all event data indefinitely.
  7. Configure the audit logging writer.
  8. Optional: To enable verbose logging with Sqoop, add these switches to the Cassandra logback-tools.xml file:
    <root level="WARN">
    <appender-ref ref="STDERR" />
    </root>
    <root level="INFO">
    <appender-ref ref="STDERR" />
    </root>
    <root level="DEBUG">
    <appender-ref ref="STDERR" />
    </root>

Example

The following example sets the audit logger to log to a Cassandra table.

# Audit logging options
audit_logging_options:
    enabled: true
    logger: CassandraAuditWriter